The Latest Fitness Rage

I am so sore from yesterday’s workout that I can barely move. It was a great one. It was tough, and there were times that I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but I couldn’t stop smiling. No matter how bad the burn or how many times I got peed on. Oh, wait. Maybe I should start by explaining my workout. Yesterday, we moved the giant Aldabra tortoises from their off-exhibit winter enclosure to their summer digs. And a good time was had by all.

How do you move three large tortoises all the way across the zoo? Two answers. Very carefully, and pickup truck. They’re entirely too big for us to move them all at once. The girls and the hatchlings make the first trip.

And lift, and lift, and lift! Feel the burn! No, that's not me. I am taking the picture, silly.

The hatchlings? So glad you asked. This:

6 years ago. Time flies.

Is now this:

Yeah. Six years. Incredible, huh? 20 curls, please.

The ladies are taken to the clinic for weights and radiographs to check for egg development.

Patches REALLY doesn't want on the scale. So she peed and pooped all over the vets. I will have to try that at my next checkup. Lift, guys!

The bucket? Again?

And on to their new enclosure. Here’s where my part of the workout came in. My job was to convince these nearly 200lb tortoises to behave like ladies and not step on anyone’s toes. Not always easy. This job involved a lot of “brace yourself and hang on.” And a great deal of poop. Like hot yoga. (note: I have never participated in hot yoga, but this is how I imagine it would be.

There I am! Along with four other people and five tortoises.

Once the girls were safely deposited, it was time to move Al.

To put it into perspective, those guys are all six feet tall. Big Al lives up to his name. He likely tips the scales at 600lbs. I think I'll leave this one to the ones with the muscles.

Riding with Al was a bit of an adventure. His natural curiosity meant some squashed toes and pushing against 600lbs of “I want to see over THERE!” Feel the burn? And the bruise?

It was worth the effort! Doesn’t he look happy? I
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46 thoughts on “The Latest Fitness Rage

  1. Wow, what a fantastic experience!! They grow quicker than I thought – the hatchling to 6yrs old is a great shot! I haven’t done hot yoga either but I sure hope there is no poop involved. :-)

    • They grow unbelievably fast! I took a pic with the ploughshares last week because I know in a couple of years, I’ll have totally forgotten how small they were when they arrived!

  2. I live my reptilian love affair vicariously through your posts. Thank you for scratching my itch this morning!! I haven’t seen Calissa, the gator, in several days.

  3. I’m moving this weekend but I’ve got nothing on those guys! Big Al is a tank – very cool, and kind of funny that he’s so curious. Great photos and sounds like a blast (aside from the pee and poop fest)!

  4. I love it when we get to ride to the zoo with you, those tortoises are great. i saw some at the Bantam Swap yesterday.. they were not like this they had nobbly shells in a kind of grid but they were lovely, i told john that i was sure they would not try to jump his fences! c

  5. I am definitely going to pull the stunt that Patches did when I go to the doctor the next time. I hate, hate, hate being weighed and they all insist upon it. Maybe if I pee and poop on them, they’ll finally get the message. Ha! (Have I told you lately that I love your job?) Wonderful post!

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